COMMLAW 2502 - Legal Aspects of International Business II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

This course introduces students to the legal aspects of doing business abroad. Topics include: the different legal systems; tax and regulation of trade; the enforceability of contracts; and judgements and dispute management across borders. The course also introduces students to the issues of intellectual property protection and anti-dumping regulations

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMLAW 2502
    Course Legal Aspects of International Business II
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites COMMLAW 1004
    Incompatible ENTREP 3007
    Restrictions Available to Law students studying a double degree with Commerce
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr John Tretola

    John Tretola

    Location: Ligertwood Building

    Telephone: 8313 8250 (work)


    Course website:
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    This course provides students with a basic understanding of the legal rules that affect global business.  Topics include the rules relating to international trade in goods and services, intellectual property, international sales and international transport.  The course is designed to encourage business students to gain:

    Knowledge and understanding
    1. to develop an understanding of the ways in which legal rules can affect operations of global business.
    2. to become familiar with the overall structure of the legal environment for global business.
    3. to be introduced to different legal systems and rules and attain an appreciation of how they apply to regulate international business transactions.
    4. to gain practice in applying legal rules to advise on the effectiveness of proposed international business transactions.

    Communication skills
    5. to provide students with the opportunity to practise their skills of written and oral expression of legal issues affecting business.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    International Business Law- text, cases and readings by Ray August, Don Mayer and Michael Bixby, 6th edition, Pearson Education, 2013.
    Online Learning
    Copies of lecture recordings will be made available to students on MyUni. However these will not necessarily be made available the same week as the lectures and so it is still each student’s responsibility to attend lectures on a regular basis

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Course materials will be presented in lectures and problems will be explored in tutorial questions. As a major focus of this course will be on applying practical solutions to the problems faced by international business it is essential that students attend tutorials and prepare answers so that they can understand the application of the various legal rules to improving the operation of international business transactions.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours of private study in addition to your regular classes.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one tutorial class each week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    1 Introduction to International Tax 1 No
    2 State Responsibility/Dispute Settlement 2 & 3 A
    3 The Multinational Enterprise 4 B
    4 Trade in Goods 7 C
    5 Trade in Services 8 D
    6 Foreign investment & Banking 5 & 6 E
    7 Intellectual Property 9 F
    8 Contracts 10 G
    9 Transport issues 11 H
    10 Financing issues 12 I
    11 Taxation issues None J
    12 Course review None K
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment TypeWeightingDue Date
    Tutorial Paper 5% By the Monday 1pm of the tutorial week.  This paper must be lodged online through the link on Turnitin.  There is a word limit of 1500 words.
    Tutorial Participation Mark 5% This is assessed at the end of the semester by your tutor and is based on the level of contribution made to tutorial class each week.  Merely attending a tutorial without saying anything will result in a 0 mark for this component.
    Assisgment 20% Friday 4pm 7th October.  The assignment must not exceed 2,500 words and must be lodged through the link on Turnitin.
    Final Exam 70% In the exam period.  A 3 hour exam with 10 minutes reading time will be held during the exam period.  the exam will potentially cover all material taught in the course from both lectures and tutorials.  The exam will not be open book but students will be allowed to take in up to 4 single sided A4 pages (or 2 double sided A4 pages) of their own notes.

    The assignment, tutorial paper and tutorial participation and final exam all seek to assess each student in terms of the five course learning outcomes specified above. All assessment is compulsory and non-redeemable.
    Assessment Detail
    The assessment components are as follows:

    Tutorial Participation Mark 5%

    This mark will assess the qualitative contribution of students to tutorial classes. This requires regular attendance at tutorials but more importantly regular active participation in tutorial discussions.

    Tutorial Paper 5%

    Each student must submit a tutorial paper online through Turnitin on any topic they choose but this paper (for the topic chosen) must be submitted online through Turnitin through the link on my uni no later than Monday 1pm of the week of the tutorial topic.  The tutorial paper should not exceed 1,500 words in length.

    Assignment 20%

    An assignment will be issued to students and must be submitted online through Turnitin through the link on my uni by 4pm on Friday October 7th.  The assignment will cover legal issues affecting international business drawn from lecture topics 1 (international law) through to 7 (trade in goods).  The maximum word limit for assignments is 2,500 words including footnotes. 

    Date and time: Friday October 7th by 4pm.

    To be lodged online through Turnitin.

    Final Exam 70%

    There will be a 3hour exam with 10 minutes reading time. The final exam is partially OPEN BOOK. This means that students can bring in up to 4 single sided or 2 double sided A4 sized paper containing any notes they wish.  No other materials can be brought into the exam room.
    All tutorial papers and assignments must be submitted electronically via Turnitin. This means that all papers will be electronically checked for plagiarism.  Tutorial papers or assignments that have a high degree of similarity indicate that the student has not laregly used their own words in their submitted work. More serious cases are likely to be given a 0 mark and a report made for plagiarism.

    Late Submission: 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an assignment that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.

    Word Length: The assignment word length is 2,500 words.  Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof at the discretion of the marker. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    Practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.